The Long Awaited Abortion Pill Arrives To Canada
The wait is officially over, "Mifegymiso" the long awaited abortion pill set has finally been made available in Canada.
The head of one of the most affluent women's health clinic showed her appreciation for how this medication can bring a monumental change in not only healthcare but how women will perceive abortion. It is one of few clinics that have been waiting for this day since 25 years.
Women, now will be able to buy abortion pills, in what that has been called the "golden standard for abortive medicine".
What is Mifegymiso?
Mifegymiso is a pack containing two separate drugs needed for safe abortive procedure – Mifepristone and Misoprostol. It has been approved by Health Canada in July 2015, after the application, took more than three years – which is an unusually long time for drugs which has already been approved in more than 60 countries – which includes the United States, most parts of Europe, China and other Asian countries.
Pro-choice advocates struggle comes to an end?
For years now, pro-choice advocates have spent years to find a pharmaceutical company that would be willing to sell Mifepristone, a controversial drug in the package in Canada's relatively very small market. The second drug, Misoprostol is already widely available in Canada as it is used for variety of medical purposes.
As Mifegymiso had a controversial beginning itself, it is hard to tell how widely the drug would be made available in the country. Furthermore, it unpredictable if medical professionals (who don't already provide surgical abortive services) will provide such medication for abortion to their patients – especially in rural areas, - where access to safe abortion is difficult and rare.
Prominent abortion clinics welcome medical abortive change
Meanwhile, the well-known abortive clinics have adopted the change quickly as expected. As per regulations, completing an online training program is only one of the many requirements for prescribing Mifegymiso – that Health Canada's drug monograph on the drug's label that describes pre-requisites for prescribing Mifegymiso.
This monograph also includes that 'doctor' as opposed to 'pharmacists' should prescribe the pills directly to the women and should not be used in pregnancy cases that are further than seven weeks. Meanwhile pro-choice advocates contested this "doctor dispensing medication" rule, arguing that it may discourage family doctors who do not specialize in women's health from offering the medication.
All the while, Celopharma, the pharmaceutical company that is brining Mifegymiso in Canada have applied to the Health Canada to extend their upper limit to nine weeks of gestation from seven weeks. As well as to allow pharmacists to dispense Mifegymiso directly to women, as is the norm. In mean time, many medical professionals are using the medication "off-label" to help women who are past seven weeks of pregnancies.